Adam Gilchrist
Former Australia wicketkeeper-batsman

A time for some old-fashioned grind

The Australian batting group certainly has the talent but now it's all about mental application

Adam Gilchrist

July 25, 2013

Comments: 50 | Text size: A | A

Usman Khawaja made his second Test half-century, England v Australia, 2nd Investec Test, Lord's, 4th day, July 21, 2013
Usman Khawaja showed that a positive mindset, even in defence, is of paramount importance © Getty Images
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Eight years ago, the Australian squad headed to Manchester for the third Ashes Test, at Old Trafford, on the back of a defeat. We had struggled as a batting unit in the previous Test, at Edgbaston, and for me personally, the Old Trafford Test loomed as a serious mental battle. My approach to batting had been forced away from its natural balance. I was struggling to get my head around Andrew Flintoff bowling from around the wicket, while Simon Jones, Steve Harmison, and Matthew Hoggard were all finding some reverse swing.

In the ten minutes before I went out to bat, I was still juggling whether I would try to defend and bat for two hours, letting the England bowlers slowly come to me, or if I would try to belt them off their plan straight away. My approach had become first gear or sixth gear, with nothing in between. And while your mind is swirling with that uncertainty, the one certainty is that you won't produce your best. You must remember that your skill level won't improve in the short space between Tests: it's all between the ears.

Just like in 2005, the challenge for the Australians as they look toward the third Test at Old Trafford is now a mental one. In finding the best approach, Australia's batsmen could do worse than look to their opponents. England's batsmen are all versatile and play limited-overs cricket as well as Tests, yet they have found a way to manage the different formats effectively. The key in this series has been that the foundation of England's batting has been crease occupation.

Both teams have found themselves at 30-odd for 3 more than once already in this series but the difference has been that England have had batsmen who then resorted to what these days would be called old-fashioned grinding: occupying the crease and forging a partnership. As the Australians have found to their detriment during the first two Tests, every minute that you resurrect your innings it wears down your opponents.

Joe Root was the man who led that response in the second innings at Lord's and he looks like a terrific player with the foundations to develop into a fine cricketer for years to come. But it was Ian Bell who really provided the backbone for England in the first innings, allowing them to push up to 361. Jonathan Trott's half-century did not receive the acknowledgement it deserved either - the partnership between Trott and Bell stopped any momentum Australia had taken from Nottingham and run with during the first hour at Lord's.

Bell and Trott provided a fine example to the Australians. The whole England top order - Root, Alastair Cook, Trott, Bell, Kevin Pietersen and even Jonny Bairstow - have those capabilities. They all feature in limited-overs games as well, but have shown that there is no need to pigeonhole yourself as a certain kind of player. In this era of three formats, the quality players are versatile enough to adjust their games to suit the requirements whether it's T20, 50-over, or Test cricket.

The Australian batting group certainly has the talent but now it's all about mental application, and that is such a difficult part of your game to apply when you feel under siege. That's how the Australians would feel now. Hopefully the batsmen, individually and with the expertise they have around them, will be able to work out their plans for Old Trafford and not lose focus. It is one thing to pounce on loose balls, but quite another to attack without regard for the bowling.

When I started playing for Australia there was an approach of scoring 300 in a day, led by Steve Waugh, and since then scoring rates have gone up significantly. But the best teams always had players who were willing to set the innings up first. Ricky Ponting was the most free-flowing of batsmen, but he would come in at No. 3 and occupy the crease, leave the ball, soak up some deliveries and make sure he was well set to eventually counterattack.

 
 
It is one thing to pounce on loose balls, but quite another to attack without regard for the bowling
 

Of course, if the bowling on offer allows you to play your shots from ball one, then you should take the opportunity. Unfortunately for the Australians, the English bowling unit has been ruthless. At Lord's in particular, they really hunted as a pack and no one gave the batsmen any let-up. That makes it even more a mental battle for the Australian batsmen. It's a fine balance between occupying the crease with no real intent and flaying at everything.

It comes down to the individuals to make those choices out in the middle about shot selection and the ways to approach a bowler. Usman Khawaja is a good example. In the first innings at Lord's he looked tentative in everything that he did, and then he tried to be really positive and aggressive against Graeme Swann and it led to his downfall. Nobody would begrudge him attempting a shot like that, but it seemed a contradiction after the way he had started.

In the second innings, everything Khawaja did looked really positive, from his first ball to his first forward defence, to his first scoring shot. It looked as though he was backing himself. He got to 50 and forged a good partnership with Michael Clarke and it was an example that a positive mindset, even in defence, is of paramount importance.

Developing that approach begins at Sheffield Shield level, and while I haven't seen enough Shield cricket in the last few years to comment on the quality of batting at that level, I hear more and more that the pitches are a concern, that they make things too difficult for batsmen and easy for bowlers, which creates a false sense for both once they reach Test level.

Perhaps the positioning of the Shield needs to be looked at as well. T20 cricket is here to stay and is a valuable part of the cricket calendar, but it needs to be very carefully scheduled and the timing of the BBL well thought out. There are also issues around the salaries paid to players for the different formats. I remember a lot of players being disgruntled when the contracting system was announced and was heavily weighted towards the BBL.

There are many reasons to be positive about T20 and the role it has in taking cricket well into the future in a healthy state, but there may be a need for administrators to have a look at the balance and check if we have it right. Scheduling and dividing up the player payments aren't easy jobs - they are very complex, in fact. However, there needs to be incentive for young players to focus on the Sheffield Shield as well as the BBL, and that will have a natural flow-on effect on Test cricket.

For now, here's hoping Australia's batsmen can do what I personally couldn't in 2005 and get their heads in the right space ahead of the Old Trafford Test. England have shown them how to do it.

Adam Gilchrist was speaking to Brydon Coverdale

Adam Gilchrist played 96 Tests for Australia as a wicketkeeper-batsman and was part of three winning Ashes campaigns

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (July 27, 2013, 16:30 GMT)

Somebody In this article pointed Waugh Bros as example against Mighty AMBROSE. Bang On friend. With Respect to Anderson He is no Ambrose. yes he is disciplined. but lacks the hostility of the Smiling Giant. my view ... stop listening to ur famed heros. not because they donot deserve but because aus famed stars have never been in condition their current team is. look for coaches and advisors like Dravid, Kumble, Yusuf, Arvinda, Fleming, Chandrapaul, Andy Flower, Kapil, D Martin etc. Mentioned never where immensely talented but immense hardwork and dedication achieved the distinction of TROUBLE-SHOOTERS. Team Players To Fall Back When Things Have Been Adverse. They Pushed Their Respective Team To Greatness On Sheer Attitude. they all had Greats Like Tendulkar, murli, wasim, waqar, inzamam, lara, astle, bond etc etc on their respwctive playing days. But the attitude to stand tall among the Ruins Made Them Unbreakable. This Team Has To Show Character To Take Fwd The Aus legacy. ATB !!!

Posted by big_al_81 on (July 27, 2013, 10:28 GMT)

The problem is that there is no-one who can come in with a track record of doing what Gilly is rightly calling for here. The reason the England batsmen's career averages are between 5 and 10 points higher than the Aussies (Clarke, as always, excepted) is because they have learned to adapt to situations and get runs - this is what Gooch teaches them - getting runs, not simply technique. It is a mental battle at the top of every sport and after years of winning it against England, the Aussies are now well on the wrong side of it. So I'm afraid Warner may give an occasional entertaning blitz, but it won't win a 5 match series. And the similarity to calls for Sehwag's return in the 2011 whitewash of India, as has been observed elsewhere, provides interesting parallels to this situation - Sehwag returned as cavalier as ever and failed abjectly. And although I think Sehwag far less than a great, he's better than Warner will ever be...

Posted by ozwriter on (July 27, 2013, 6:59 GMT)

great insights from gilchrist. warner in for hughes, and we'll be right on track.

Posted by Doolman on (July 26, 2013, 20:21 GMT)

Aus batsmen lack savvy . Hayden , langer, Gilly ,Bevan and Waugh brothers are yet to be replaced . True legends. The problem is that Aus cricket did not phase younger generation with experienced players , very shortsighted hence failure in this era.

Posted by Fleming_Mitch on (July 26, 2013, 18:42 GMT)

@PaulRampley no there has never been anyone as good as Gilly and perhaps never will be. Bottom line is that boof is also a player who played with alot of grit and fight and he will bring those qualities to the younger players, watch how in the next year the likes of Khawaja, Smith and other young batsman become fighters and convert their 50s into big scores, boof will bring the best out of them.

Posted by Beertjie on (July 26, 2013, 17:32 GMT)

Watching you play has been the highlight of over 50 years of international cricket watching. On you article, though, you are right about the method to be adopted, I'm not sure about the talent being there. Scoring runs with modern bats isn't difficult if you're a first-class level cricketer, but applying your mind in tests is quite something else. As you yourself concede, Flintoff worked you out and over to my everlasting dismay. Flower and his team have prepared just as meticulously with their disciplined lot. From this inexperienced cohort a few stars may emerge, but I'm not counting on it. Of course, you couldn't write that. I hope I'm wrong, but if we're trusting to the current squad's batting, we'll be very disappointed. Khawaja is no great shakes, but given opportunities he may emerge as a solid option. I'm coming to Australia to watch the 2019 Ashes and hope for a dream team: Silk, Khawaja, Doolan, Burns, A.N Other (capt.) Agar, Paine, Starc, Pattinson, Cummins, Zampa.

Posted by Paul_Rampley on (July 26, 2013, 16:28 GMT)

Has there been a better keeper batsman then Gilly, i don't think there has, he has made life tough for all future keepers. Edward i remember that innings from the Waugh brothers, it was stuff of legend. Gilly in his analysis is spot on, i loved what I saw from Khawaja in the second innings in Lords and we need more of that in the coming games from the other batsman. I still think we can come back but we need to really put in the hard yards, boof is the right man to bring it out of our guys.

Posted by Edwards_Anderson on (July 26, 2013, 15:56 GMT)

If you want to watch grit, watch Steve Waugh and Mark Waugh stand up to Ambrose in the West Indies series of 98. Fantastic stuff and something our younger batsma can learn from. From the current lot i do like the look of Khawaja, he has fight about him and also Smith and Warner as well. Watson is due for a big score and if he can show fight at the top of the order it will have a ripple effect on the rest of the batsman.

Posted by Sunil_Batra on (July 26, 2013, 15:38 GMT)

No greater batsman with grit then AB and it was interesting hearing him saying the same stuff to our batsman after the lords game, he picked Khawaja as an example of the type of innings needed where he toughened it out at Lords. I know the likes of Rogers, Watson and Haddin can also fight it out but they all need to if we are to come back

Posted by Barnesy4444 on (July 26, 2013, 8:22 GMT)

Gilly, with all respect, how many Sheffield Shield games did you play after retiring from test cricket? How about mates Warney, Hayden, Lee, McGrath? These greats of the game have a responsibility to go back and play a season or two of domestic SS to teach young players a thing or two and raise the profile of SS. Instead they go and rake in the big $$$$$$$ in the IPL.

How about teaching a young batsman some mental skills by seeing off a spell from Warney, McGrath or Brett Lee?

How about a young bowler trying his guts out to get Gilly's wicket? SS would be on the news every night.

Posted by CustomKid on (July 26, 2013, 3:20 GMT)

@salazar555 - I think he's more than qualified to make that comment. Don't forget he had some pretty handy batsmen from 1-6 who had the ability to grind so I'm sure he picked up some tips and insights along the way. Gilly was the axe man because he generally walked out when the grind had been done. Agreed though he rarely did it and if was required AUS usually lost that test. However he's a wise owl and like I said he would have absorbed plenty from 1-6 to justify his comments. God what I'd give to have him in the side now.

Posted by cricket_ahan on (July 26, 2013, 2:28 GMT)

Spot on Gilly. Most batsman will tell you that runs against their name is the biggest booster to their confidence. And that should be the mentality. However they come, stay in and keep accumulating them. The two standout innings for me in this series from Australia's batsmen were Phil Hughes in the first test, and Khwaja in the second. Eng have bowled well in this series no doubt, particularly Anderson and Swann, but the Aussies have not fought and toughed it through enough. If every player knuckled down like Hughes and Khwaja, I think more runs would be on the board and they would attract much less criticism, even if the team loses. After all these guys aren't amateurs, they know how to defend, they know how to get in behind the ball. It requires their mental application to be correctly tuned to what's required tho.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (July 26, 2013, 2:26 GMT)

Why isn't Adam Gilchrist involved in the Australian coaching or selecting fraternity? He obviously knows what he is doing a lot better than several of the current lot.

Posted by sayedhasan on (July 25, 2013, 22:57 GMT)

Sorry Gilly, its not the batting but quality bowling that Aus lack. Take out Andersen and Swan and the series could be 2-0 Aus.

Posted by endofageofaquarius on (July 25, 2013, 18:51 GMT)

Gilchrist was part of one of the great test teams in history, unlike this current Aus team, and that singular fact should not be lost on anyone.

Posted by SidsIPLTeam on (July 25, 2013, 18:46 GMT)

A little late to the party. But, I really feel the best way forward for Australia would be to try and forget the last test match and treat it as one of their worst. I don't think players individually would be able to change a great deal in 10 days, apart from a few technical fixes and hard thinking perhaps. They were competitive in the first test albeit due to a spectacular effort from Agar and should continue to try and find their best. There are obvious differences between the two teams and on paper England might win hands down. But, Australia have to start fresh and play fearless positive cricket. They have to understand that in dry conditions, it might be very difficult to survive Swann by only blocking, coz one good delivery would come sooner than later and get the batsman out. Their only motivation should be to try and score. Only Clarke & Rogers might want to play their own games, as they look equipped to survive pressure.

Posted by voma on (July 25, 2013, 16:46 GMT)

OneEyedAussie , spot on mate . Im an England fan , and to me your guys are getting themselves out . Anderson , Broad and Swann are playing well , but they have a lot of experience in home conditions . Theres nothing exceptional going on with Englands bowling , just discipline .

Posted by thejesusofcool on (July 25, 2013, 14:55 GMT)

Yes, this would help them.

But they also need to get 3 of the 4 main bowlers able to attack tor enlarge any early breakthrough, plus one able to seal an end if the ball's doing nothing for them.

Vide us at Lords-Anderson,Broad & Swann attacked,Bresnan sealed an end.

Without that as well, they aren't going to win Tests-at least 2 of the 4 they lost in India,they failed to enlarge an early breach as well,so it isn't a new problem for them, either.

They also need to think if they need an all-rounder at 6, if so who, and if not, which batsmen can mimic what Root did & nick out the odd critical wicket.

In other words, the lack of batting application is one major factor, but there are others they must needs address as promptly, too.

Posted by Sunil_Batra on (July 25, 2013, 14:37 GMT)

@Fleming_dean some fantastic comments, i also watched Langer and Gilly plunder the pakistan attack in a game we should never have won but they fought it out. And as mentioned Khawaja showed that in his last knock, he would have been under pressure from his first innings knock but as he often does under pressure situations he came through and i think he will build up well for the rest of the series, classy left hander. I've been thinking about David Warner's future in Test cricket as well and i think he can be something special for us. He's still relatively young at 26, so there is time for improvement.Something I think that might help him become a regular starter in Test matches is by modelling himself on Matthew Hayden. They aren't dissimilar from one another: both are left-handed, both open the batting, both are powerful stroke-makers, and both have the ability to either take away a match from the opposition, or at least play an innings around which a win can be constructed.

Posted by ReverseSweepIndia on (July 25, 2013, 14:12 GMT)

I thought Aus would hire one of Waugh bros or Langer or Hydo as batting coach, looked like they will be better served Phantom. Man! could he bat, marvelous. On serious side I do not think until these batsmen get the habit of playing 4-5 sessions, they can survive in tests. Guys like Watto, Hughes (Warner too) are finding it difficult to stay longer on wicket. T20 impact? Don't know. We in India revel about Pujara (still to see if he succeed outside) but whatever we have seen, once he gets in, he gets in deep. Same is true of Cook, Trott (not in this series so far though), Bell, Kallis and like. Can they grind it out?

Posted by Amith_S on (July 25, 2013, 14:00 GMT)

Love the articlea from Gilly, keep them coming. He is absolutely correct, we need old fashion grit, Khawaja and Clarke showed that in the last innings and other batsman need to follow, don't give your wicket away and make them earn every inch.

Posted by chitti_cricket on (July 25, 2013, 13:22 GMT)

what a write..! exactly what Australia needs. Old fashinoed grind.Actually people have to realize test cricket is played over 5 dyas and is real test of temperment and technique.Actually techique should be backed by charecter so that you can grind the oposition bowlers.The current players it seems are lacking in technique than temperment. As an example you have been seeing the faults in their technique very clearly, the batsmen are not playing Swan using their feet, they are playing the spiiner with in the crease and playing backfoot shots where they have to play front foot.As per swingng balls are concerned they should know where their offstump is and in this times of DRS don't put your foot in the line of ball and get LBW. These are basic things of cricket Gilly, which the current Australian batsmen are not applying, I agree they are highly talented in their own right but something is very bad, may be their mind set or may be they have some openion already formed of England bowling.

Posted by ravi_hari on (July 25, 2013, 12:56 GMT)

Honest submission by Gilly. That Flintoff series was a thrill to watch but Aussies were really fighting with their backs to the wall. Yet I feel any comparison to the present team or situation is unfair. Gilly's team had the best lineup. But Clarke really does not have the men who can make a difference. Minus Clarke and Haddin, the rest have not played a total of 100 tests. The same XI has not played consecutive tests in the last 2 years. It is not easy to create a nucleus of the side under such circumstances. The problems of Clarke are not limited to batting it is bowling and fielding too. Only one bowler performs in an innings, there is no support from the other end. Spinners have failed miserably, whoever has played. Batting has been at its worst and keeping also is below par. Added to this Clarke's form in the last 6 tests has been far below his best. Coaches changed. It is not easy to keep the flock together and motivate. If Aussies can atleast draw one test it would be a great.

Posted by playitstraight on (July 25, 2013, 12:45 GMT)

I think the simple rule of grinding out the first 20 overs when the new ball really swings and seams, punishing the bad balls and rotating the strike still holds true up to today. But if you look at how Australia played the second Test, they certainly did not come out to bat with that mindset. It seems like they are always in a hurry, when Test cricket requires the opposite. If you want a result in a match rather than a draw, you have to be a bit cautious at first, not just going top gear from the start and swinging at balls that are 1 or 2 feet away from the off stump. Watson really has to learn, from Rogers, that grinding it out is the best way to go, even in great batting conditions. Leaving is an art, not a talent. After hitting a few fours, Watto is tempted to go on at a rapid strike rate, when he should really be respecting the bowlers and focus on rotating the strike more often. Oh, and he has to learn to use the DRS.

Posted by salazar555 on (July 25, 2013, 12:09 GMT)

I don't remember Gilchrist ever batting to a situation. He came out and tried to whack it whatever the situation, even when the Aussies were in trouble. Sometimes it came off, sometimes it didn't but when did Gilchrist ever grind out an innings? He didn't. I was a big Gilchrist fan despite being English but he is the wrong person to be talking about grinding out innings because he never did.

Posted by Tvaranitra on (July 25, 2013, 11:59 GMT)

Excellent article sir. Like many others I am a huge fan of yours and thanks for all the excitement you produced during your cricketing years. In any team you will/should have players of different capacity, like a Sehwag to a Tendulkar to a Dravid to a Laxman. Or if you look at the old school Australia, you have greats like Hayden, Ponting, Langer and ofcouse our Gilly and see how they have paced their innings. I think there is great talent in the current Australian side, but they should take a leaf from these greats and learn to pace the innings. Guys this is a test match and not a T20, forget about the scoring rate, stay for long duration, bowlers will be worn out and scoring should be easy. I am confident that Australia will come good and give a tough fight to England. I am not seeing any whitewash, atleast some people have come good in the last 2 tests and I am sure Khwaja, Clarke and Hughes will come good and put on big scores in the coming tests. All the best guys....

Posted by landl47 on (July 25, 2013, 11:55 GMT)

Gilly says 'the Australian batting group certainly has the talent', but do they? Playing solid defence with catchers round the bat demands technique that I'm not sure too many of the Aussie batting group have mastered. One of the reasons that the Australians have been getting out to rash shots is that if they try to defend their way out of trouble then sooner or later they get a ball that they can't handle and they're gone anyway, so they might as well have a dash.

The Aussies are not alone in this. Eoin Morgan is in exactly the same boat; his defensive technique isn't good enough for test cricket, which is why he isn't in the side.

Being able to score when the fielders are spread out and the bowlers are simply trying to contain is one skill. The Aussies have that. Being able to get your head down and bat for two sessions or more when the bowlers and fielders are all over you is another. Which of the Aussies would you back to do that?

Posted by ultrasnow on (July 25, 2013, 11:35 GMT)

I'm Indian and have been a great fan of the Adam Gilchrist style of batsmanship. I saw the headline with Adam Gilchrist's name and face beside it and just refused to believe it. Sorry I could not read the article because I don't believe Gilly would recommend old-fashioned grind.

Posted by Thefakebook on (July 25, 2013, 9:59 GMT)

Gilly is right OZ need to forget about winning and focus more on scoring runs in the first inning in excess of 300,no matter how long it takes even if 5 seasons,be it so! There is no coming back in this series and probably more thumping may come their way if they consistently think of winning and put so much pressure on them.OZ need to build for the future,so give youngsters a go at this point results does not matter.its the darkest hour but OZ cricket will rise through stronger than ever,believe me you!

Posted by CricketMaan on (July 25, 2013, 9:45 GMT)

Its not jus the standard of Aussie batting, they all have made 100s in Test cricket. Its that the Eng bowling attack is far superior and have hardly shown any weakness. If Anderson doesnt, Tim does it, if Board doesnt, Swann does it and then Root comes in and takes 2 nonchalantly..That is difficult to handle especially when Onions, Rankin, Finn are all waiting for thier chance. Watson opening is still no good. It should be Cowan and Rogers, Usman to follow, Watto and Clarke then followed by Hughes or Warner and Smith and Haddin. Not that it will solve all the problems, but the Lords line up simply didnt look right!

Posted by timus6778 on (July 25, 2013, 9:34 GMT)

Same thing was sadi by Mickey Arthur that Contract system was heavily biased towards BBL...Yet No One listened to him...And gilly speaks one,everybody supports him. Treating Mickey as your enemy will lead you to peril. Are you listening, Mr Sutherland?

Posted by Romanticstud on (July 25, 2013, 9:30 GMT)

In test match cricket ... one must remember the basics ... always put your foot towards the path of the ball and your bat next to it ... by not having space between bat and ball in defense ... to the good ball ... making the ball hit the bat ... a straight bat ... not trying to force every delivery to the boundary ... by also waiting ... patience is required to see the bad ball ... and having the confidence that the bad ball can be punished ... to play cross batted shots you need to be positive and keep your eye on the ball ... back yourself in your ability ... never doubt when you are playing the ball ... remember too that if the ball comes to you quickly it can go from the bat just as quickly ... there is no need to force the ball ...

Posted by OneEyedAussie on (July 25, 2013, 9:03 GMT)

What Gilchrist is saying is nothing insightful - it's simple risk vs reward. The lusty blow with angled bat outside off (ala Hughes/Warner) gets you four runs when it comes off but you'll get out to it often (let's say 20 % of the time). That means you might score 16 runs per innings on average playing that shot. Playing with a straight back with soft hands into a gap may only pick you up a single, but the risk of getting dismissed is dramatically less (let's say 2 % of the time). You can score a half-century this way on average before being dismissed. Not only that, the longer you occupy the crease, the more tired the bowlers become and the more bad balls to play low risk shots. This is classical test batsmanship and Ian Bell's returns prove its effectiveness.

Posted by SibaMohanty on (July 25, 2013, 8:54 GMT)

Advices on grind and patience from the Massacre Man!!! He, he. But Gilly is spot on. Aussies need to master their mind. For that they would do well to hire one Mr Rahul Dravid who absolutely knew how to grind the opposition out.

Mr John Inverarity, are you listening?

Posted by whoster on (July 25, 2013, 8:29 GMT)

Well said, Gilly. For all their batting frailties, the Aussie pace attack has made the England batsmen work hard for their runs. Harris and Siddle bowled with energy and discipline at Lord's, and it was only after Tea on the 3rd day that England scored freely. Root and Bell both had to dig in and protect their wickets early on, and they reaped the benefits when the bowling tired late in the day. England also had to scrap for their runs in the 2nd innings at Trent Bridge when they were under pressure early on. The likes of Watson, Hughes, and even Clarke, have tried to hit their way out of trouble, and that's a high risk policy against England's strong attack. The only way to challenge England is to bat with endless discipline and patience, as displayed so well by the likes of Smith, Amla and Kallis for SA last year. With confidence amongst the batsmen at such a low ebb, the Aussies are heading for disaster.

Posted by balajik1968 on (July 25, 2013, 8:11 GMT)

What Gilchrist says makes sense. He is advocating patience and occupation of the crease. Right now what Australia needs to do is to play out the first 20 overs without losing a wicket, and then improve the scoring rate. They should also look to bat session by session. As of now, I don't think Australia can beat this English team. But they can make things a little more difficult and also give their bowlers something to bowl at.

Posted by   on (July 25, 2013, 7:08 GMT)

y they didnt select bailey for test he has much better technique style temprament and confidence from some of aus current players?????

Posted by   on (July 25, 2013, 7:06 GMT)

I will be very surprised if this aussie line up can score a 400 in this ashes let alone win a test. Not that the english bowling is unplayable. The south africans showed last year that with patience and determination and possibly a little bit of luck you can score big but the aussie batting seems to be made of brittle stuff. If i were Darren Lehmann i would give clarke and co. tapes of alma's 311* to learn and imbibe a certain way of batting in their game.

Posted by heathrf1974 on (July 25, 2013, 6:56 GMT)

I think there are two major factors affecting Australian cricket at the moment, the limited amount of experience in the test side and the state of the Sheffield Shield wickets which doesn't prepare players for anything like test match cricket (not only batsman but spinners can't develop on result-orientated green-tops). Limited over cricket is being played by all nations and it is not affecting the test teams of South Africa and India so it shouldn't be considered an issue for Australia as well. I also hope when England come to Australia that the wickets are prepared so the traditional and unique attributes of each test venue is restored and they don't produce all wickets that are lifeless batting tracks.

Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (July 25, 2013, 6:46 GMT)

Forget the grit and grind,you legend .You only ever liked smash and thump them all , whether they came at 95mph or 75kph biting off the rough wide of the off stick, new ball or old, coming in at 450-5 or 120-5 ,- a rarity for him in that Aus team of his - till it was just a matter of completing the formalities ,the 'contest' having long ceased . Oh ,but no one is a Gilly,certainly not any of the Aus top 7 .Though the 19 yr old did do a Gilly impersonation on his 1st inngs. on debut @ 11! How Gilly would've liked to have a crack at the current Eng attack -forget the grind- having ground far many a lot better attacks to the dust in his heyday !

Posted by cricketforpeace on (July 25, 2013, 6:09 GMT)

In the ongoing Ashes series, the Australian have shown how NOT to play Test match cricket. Lot of Aussie cricketing greats have commented recently in the media about their team. At the end of the day, a team collectively if they have not mastered either the conditions of the match or their mind, are doomed to fail.The present set of Aussie players, barring Clarke, Siddle, and Haddin have not been tested earlier, as severely as they being subjected to now. Great Test match players (Gilchrist included), Border, Clive Loyd, Zaheer Abbas, Martin Crowe, Dravid, Gavaskar had all mastered their mind first before they faced their first ball. They were tested with fire and they came through and are today known as legends in their fields. People may disagree but I feel that talent wise, both the English and the Aussies are equally talented. But, talent without the right mind set and a burning desire to excel will get them nowhere.

Posted by   on (July 25, 2013, 5:50 GMT)

Nice article. If talent is there and discipline in their batting is what Oz team requires, then management should look at hiring someone like Rahul Dravid as their batting coach for the Test team. This will surely help fine tune their batting collapses (just a though :D)

Posted by PadMarley on (July 25, 2013, 5:02 GMT)

As much as I respect some of these Aussie greats from 1995 - 2004 [perhaps], I think they talk too much these days. They were a combination of many legendary players at the the same time. There is a huge relief in mind when you play for a team like that... defeat, humiliation are last things you would think of... pressue individually is less... I bet if Michael Clark was in that team, he would shine in every single moment. Your true test as a great is being in the middle of a lousy team single handedly savings games for your country and doing it many times when the chips are down. Current players should stop taking advice from Aussie legends. Go talk to people like Dravid, VVS, Muhmd Yusuf, Aravinda, Lara, Chanderpaul etc.. you will get better tips!!

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (July 25, 2013, 4:46 GMT)

Gilly is great writer, very good read with interesting points andIt always help when you agree with them too.

Posted by   on (July 25, 2013, 3:24 GMT)

australia lineup for the next ashes series in australia should be: 1.usman khawaja 2.shane Watson 3.alex doolan 4.david warner 5.michael Clarke 6.george bailey 7.brad haddin 8.peter siddle 9.pat cummins 10.chadd sayers 11.fawad ahmed

Posted by   on (July 25, 2013, 2:56 GMT)

if u can not control the frenzy of t20 cricket leagues..this is what happens !!!!

Posted by left_arm_unorthodox on (July 25, 2013, 2:54 GMT)

The Aussies are showing a distinct inability the play the right game at the right time. Along with their misuse of DRS and changing coaches a week or two out from the series, and BBL in the prime months of the cricket season (and so playing too much Shield cricket on early season greentops), it suggests a lack of judgement from Sutherland through to the players and all levels in between. Maybe they all need to take up meditation...

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